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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/116

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

if the doors opened from them. There was a decided difference, however, in opening a door if it opened toward them. Cuffy was never able to do it. With Jack it was about as easily done as it was by the Indian servant girl. Quickly and deftly would he shove up the exposed latch and the curved part of the thumb piece and draw it toward him. If the door did not easily open, the claws in the other fore paw speedily and cleverly did the work. The favorite resting place of these two magnificent dogs was on some fur rugs on my study floor. Several times have we witnessed the following action in Cuffy, who was of a much more restless temperament than Jack: When she wanted to leave the study she would invariably first go to the door and try it. If it were in the slightest degree ajar she could easily draw it toward her and thus open it. If, on the contrary, it were latched, she would at once march over to Jack, and, taking him by an ear with her teeth, would lead him over to the door, which he at once opened for her. If reason is that power by which we "are enabled to combine means for the attainment of particular ends," I fail to understand the meaning of words if it were not displayed in these instances.

Both Jack and Cuffy were, as is characteristic of such dogs, very fond of the water, and in our short, brilliant summers would frequently disport themselves in the beautiful little lake, the shores of which were close to our home. Cuffy, as a Newfoundland dog, generally preferred to continue her sports in the waves some time after Jack had finished his bath. As they were inseparable companions. Jack was too loyal to retire to the house until Cuffy was ready to accompany him. As she was sometimes whimsical and dilatory, she seemed frequently to try his patience. It was, however, always interesting to observe his deference to her. To understand thoroughly what we are going to relate in proof of our argument it is necessary to state that the rocky shore in front of our home was at this particular place like a wedge, the thickest part in front, rising up about a dozen feet or so abruptly from the water. Then to the east the shore gradually sloped down into a little sandy cove. When Jack had finished his bath he always swam to this sandy beach, and at once, as he shook his great body, came gamboling along the rocks, joyously barking to his companion still in the waters. When Cuffy had finished her watery sports, if Jack were still on the rocks, instead of swimming to the sandy cove and there landing she would start directly for the place where Jack was awaiting her. If it were at a spot where she could not alone struggle up, Jack, firmly bracing himself, would reach down to her and then, catching hold of the back of her neck, would help her